The Loving Look

A Cure for the Epicure

'Thou art beautiful above the sons of men: grace is poured abroad in thy lips."

-Psalm 44(45):3

One warm, late-summer afternoon in Eastern North Carolina, a few hundred primary-school children poured out of their classrooms and waited for their buses to take them far and wide around the county. My aunt, the principal, stood by the curb, surveying the complex arrangements to prevent any little children from boarding the wrong bus. A cute seven-year old black girl crowned with many brightly colored barrettes rocked pensively from foot to foot as her bus rolled in to take her home. With a schoolmarm's cheerful condescension, my aunt complimented her, "My, you've made yourself so beautiful today, Sugar!" The little girl gave the swift and startling reply, "Oh, no Miz Brooks, only Jesus make you beautiful!" Thus, the example from innocence.

"The young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God." This is the very broad moral inference drawn by the wise priest in The World, the Flesh, and Father Smith by Scottish Catholic novelist Bruce Marshall. Marshall (whose novels were popular in preconciliar days and whose papers—worthy of study by tradition-loving Christians—are at Georgetown) describes the Last Rites given to an old merchant marine in a brothel to which the priest has been called by the at...

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